I don’t know how to feel. I still haven’t come to terms with the tragic news that Caroline Flack – a lady I once loved, is dead. I fear that I never will. My initial feelings are of sadness and regret but are mainly of anger. I write this with only the knowledge of her loss as I haven’t been able to bring myself to read any reports, messages or anything online. My phone has been off since before this unimaginable event.
I’d like to start by sending my deepest sympathy and condolences to Caroline’s family, Christine, Ian, Jody, Paul, Liz, and her nieces and nephews. I’d also like to pass on my sympathies to Lewis any anyone close to Caroline. I can’t imagine what you’re all going through in this awful time. I hope is that your privacy is being respected and you are receiving all the support you need in what I can only imagine is a sorrowful and dark time in your family’s history. I am truly sorry for your loss. I’d also like to apologise for feeling the need to put this out there for the world to see. I hope that one day you’ll understand why.
Regardless of what you may have read in the tabloids or the opinion any of you formed on the little information you think you actually knew about Caroline and her life behind closed doors. Or what beliefs you may have on me. I’m not writing this to confront any rumours or gossip pieces that the UK tabloid press can manipulate or exploit. I have my memories of Caroline, and they will stay with me. I am writing this in the hope that Caroline’s life hasn’t been taken in vain.
I firmly believe this tragedy could have been avoided if we’d just taken a few small steps in how we all acted. I write this to bring attention to a matter that is close to my heart in the hope that these tragic events won’t happen again to any other victims.
I feel that a few things have to be addressed before anyone can make any assumption of who Caroline was. In recent times there has been a lot of media scrutiny of a trial that has sadly been playing a part in recent headlines. This is just the tip of the iceberg of defamatory press coverage and public opinion that has led to such a tragic event.
You vilified her. You abused her. You bullied her, and ultimately you killed her. Her professional team knew she was in a dark place and even darker industry as did those close to her. We all had a part to play in Caroline taking her own life. Including me.
From the outside, you may look and think – Caroline had it all. A great job, nice clothes, expensive holidays, a successful career and the smile to show for it. Fame and fortune was something that she didn’t shy away from. She did everything she thought she could to stay one step ahead of the competition and remain at the top of her game and the forefront of our minds. Girls watching her on TV wanted to be her and guys wanted to be with her. She was a likeable sort. For anyone lucky enough to meet her in public, they always warmed to her. She had a smile that would light up the room and an addictive presence. She was grounded and down to earth, she enjoyed £9 bottles of wine and she wouldn’t shy away from pictures or interactions with her fans. Modestly dressed when not gracing the cat walk at award ceremonies. What you didn’t see, however, was what this awful industry was doing to her mental health behind closed doors.
It’s no secret, Caroline’s life. It was subject to tabloid scrutiny every week, and her personal life plastered all over the press like a bad sitcom. Her love life was a joke to you people, anything she did was recorded, exaggerated and paraded for the world to see.
The vile British paparazzi would stake out her house waiting for her to leave, they’d often chase her in their cars and following her in an intimidating manner. They’d even follow her on holiday. If she went to the edge of the world, they would follow. Why? So they could take uncomplimentary photos of her, pictures of her looking troubled and downtrodden and sell them for money to the highest bidder. These sad little men with cameras and nothing better to do. If random people would wait outside your house and try and take photos of you or your family you’d probably think it was weird and call the police. Well, there were times when I had to call the police, and they couldn’t do anything. Why? Because strange, creepy and intimidating people standing out your house isn’t illegal when they call themselves paparazzi. They’re genuinely the scum of the earth. I bet they’re waiting there even now, outside her flat in Islington. Waiting for any of Caroline’s family to come to the house and get photos of them in the hope they can sell them to News outlets for blood money.
Once these scum bastards have their pictures, they upload the worst ones on the news board and sell them to the highest bidder. The leading News publications are The Sun or The Daily Mail. But with these photos there needs to be a story. Journalists (if that’s what you can call them) work tirelessly for the next hour or so to construct vile opinion pieces on Caroline’s love life, personal life or appearance. Spending no time to fact check and covering up mistakes or lies with “a source close to Caroline says…” Over time these opinion pieces build up and form a character profile or in Caroline’s case, a character crucifixion. Any journalist who has ever written an article about Caroline’s love life, appearance or work or anything that had detrimental effects on her mental wellbeing has blood on their hands. You all know who you are.
I would like to shine a light on one of the main suspects. Dan Wootton. He works for The Sun, ITV and TalkRadio (last time I checked). Dan, you should be ashamed of yourself. Every time you scrutinised, manipulated and betrayed her trust. Every time you got a compromising story of her or one of her loved ones and used it against her. Tormenting her and calling her every name under the sun. Almost to breaking point. So much so she felt so helpless and thought it necessary to give you another story on another matter to try and make the other story disappear. You called her names that makes you a bully, you made her feel ashamed of herself, and this led to her depressed and ultimately to suicide. Dan, you used to go on Breakfast TV, and you claim to be friends with Caroline. I am singling you out because in addition to personally attacking her on several occasions you have also created a style of showbiz journalism in the UK that is subjecting ordinary people to hurtful and demoralising stories. I get it you have bosses and share holders. But how greedy are they when they allow you to put so many people’s lives at risk. These celebrities feel the same pain and shame as everybody else. You encouraged public bashing, exaggerated negative public opinion and you give people the arena to feel like they can say what they want about her regardless of how much of a risk it posed to someone’s mental health.
You may not feel guilty for her death as you no longer put your name to articles of her demise. But instead, you let young journalists minions feel like it’s okay to say hurtful things. Anything said by The Sun is on your hands, Dan. Why do you do this? Because you feel entitled to, that’s why. Because apparently it’s in the publics best interests. But is it? Who actually cares about who Caroline’s dating or what outfit she’s wearing. I bet you wouldn’t even notice a difference in revenue if you just controlled yourselve a little and had some resraint. This is people’s lives you’re gambling with.
Dan Wootton should be fired from his position as The Sun editor with immediate effect. Other media companies who employ him should also investigate his code of ethics and ensure he’s held account for what he has done. He should be used as an example to other journalists that they are accountable for their hate-filled rants, as none of them is above the law. The government should start an investigation into British showbiz tabloid journalism in the UK in the hope that hideous, unlawful and intimidating practises can be cleaned up to prevent anyone else from taking their own life due to witch hunt press and stalker paparazzi. You had countless opportunities to act many years ago when The News Of The World practised equally disgusting tactics to sell papers.
The other heads and senior editors from The Daily Mail and The Sun should be investigated and their ethics and morals should be considered when applying for promotions. The other culprits are women’s weekly gossip magazines. They print shocking front covers that anyone can see and form such hateful opinions on people without the any context.
We, as consumers of this tabloid press and weekly gossip magazines, are also to blame. We can stop this happening ourselves one-by-one. We just stop, today. All we have to do is just stop going on clickbait articles, boycott The Sun and the Daily Mail and stop consuming ‘news’ that is abusive to the subject and created a complexity of mental health disorders for these individuals that are impossible to describe. They are just filling us with hate for people we don’t know in order to sell papers or online advertising. How many human lives is it going to take before we wake up and realise how evil these journalists are? Let’s make a stand today. The other papers and magazines will soon follow suit and try to protect these individuals instead of putting them on a platter for public judgement and scrutiny.
I don’t even have to look, but I know that twitter and Instagram are going to be filled with sympathetic articles and tweets for Caroline. From the same journalists that only a few weeks ago were reporting every move she made and for years have been reporting awful opinion pieces on her love life, her career and her troubled past. Do not be fooled by these fake sympathisers and pathological liars.
There was such a strong opinion on Caroline from the general public. But why? Did she do anything that bad to anyone? She didn’t personally attack you, or your friends and family. She lived her life, and her life happened to grace public opinions regularly. The views you have of her are fabricated and based on stories you read in these awful tabloids. Start asking yourself – Why am I reading this. Is this imformation necessary in my life? Is this potentially harmful to the person it is about? Please start being more considerate. Don’t give them clicks and they won’t have any reason to write pointless stories that are so harmful to the people they’re about.
As individuals, we can stop this happening again. It’s pretty easy. Just stop reading the articles. If the papers aren’t getting any clicks on gossip pieces or if you stop buying their newspapers, they will quickly change their methods of reporting for more ethical and moral ones. Once they stop writing articles the paparazzi stop taking photos as they stop making money and stop following people and making them feel helpless and living in fear. Once the paparazzi stop making money, the made-up articles stop.
It’s a circle that is easy to break, and it comes down to us as individuals. Does it matter to you to know every piece of information about someone’s life? Does knowing who your favourite celebrity is dating really change your life? Or do we just convince ourselves of this to somehow make us feel better about our own lives? No. It doesn’t change your life. But it does change their lives. It allows them to be human, to make mistakes, to love in private and to live a healthy life once the cameras are off. I think back over the years of the incredible celebrities this world has lost to suicide, and I can’t help but think that the media played a more significant part in them than we care to believe.
With these vile and invasive articles comes twitter trolls and Daily Mail comment trolls. All of you played a part in her suicide. For years you’ve developed this opinion of her built up of nothing but articles you’ve read about her. You hide behind your anonymity online. Full of hate and jealousy. Either directly or indirectly. You tweet the most horrendous opinions of her. You sad individuals comment on Daily Mail articles with things that not one of you would have the guts to say to her face — Sat in your dingy houses sad and alone. Typing your hate-filled rants about someone you don’t even know. she was someone’s sister, someones daughter and some innocent kids Aunti. You’re cowards. But I bet you probably don’t even think she sees them. But she did. She read more than she should have. I call upon the Daily Mail and other news sources to do the right thing and altogether remove the comment function on any of your articles. I agree that everyone is entitled to their opinion. Still, I also believe it is your moral obligation to prevent such hate-filled people having a platform to express such strong and uneducated opinions that lead to someone’s demise.
I also call upon twitter and other social media platforms to address their ‘sign up policy’. Surely its time for every user to link a form of identification to each account to ensure people are fully accountable for their vile opinions. Maybe then, fewer people would target these celebrities with such hurtful and defamatory views if they could be held to account for it.Caroline was a product of what you made her. An insecure individual who lived each day fearing the next Dan Wootton Scoop and being left out to dry and harassed by everyone.
Please join me in signing a petition to hold these horrific journalists to account for the lies and hate they spread. Changes in their conduct and practices must be investigated.
As for the producers at ITV. You should all hang your heads in shame. Caroline held you all in such high regard, but I don’t get why. You didn’t help her. I’m not talking about the help you think she needed in having someone to confide in. But the psychological support you know she clearly needed. You let her be the fall-girl for any negative press Love Island received. You left her out to dry with the tabloids and you couldn’t protect her like. Every season she was terrified that someone would come along and knock her off her perch. It wasn’t until last year when you signed an extended contract. The damage was already done. You let her feel like her job was unsafe, and that caused her more pain than you can imagine.
Love Island should have been investigated and probably even cancelled after the tragic deaths of both Sophie Gradon and Mike Thalassitis. Who were both contestants on the show. There was public outcry for Love Island to be scrapped. You did all you thought you could do considering how much advertising revene you get of Love Island I believe you should be doing a lot more. You should have these contestants a regular therapist each for the following 3 months and then regular checks from then on. But instead you just ask a few more questions before you put them on the show and have a therapy meeting with them every 3 months. You think extra help is going to make these kids ready for such a fake, judgemental and temporal industry built on toxic gossip and ‘fame’. But what do any of you Executive Producers know anything about fame? Very little. You make these ‘stars’, and you send them out to the world helpless and alone. But its okay for you. You are able to go home at night and enjoy privacy in your personal and family life without a care or real understanding of what these contestants go through. There’s no way you can protect the 30 something contestants from each series of Love Island from the hazards of fame if you can’t even protect the presenter.
I don’t believe you’ve learned from your mistakes with Sophie and Mike. But you continue to produce these overnight celebrities. Well, I hope now after Caroline’s death you will discover that what you are doing is entirely unethical. I call upon ITV to cancel Love Island entirely and for the government to make a full and independent investigation into the practices at ITV in both Love Island and the broader company as a whole.
These Reality TV shows and unlawful tabloid journalism You can stop it too, by not engaging with them, not giving interviews and shunning them for comment. Question their motives and question the outcome of what they are asking you to do. Don’t bite at their petty articles and just ignore them. They will go away eventually. You should all take a stand and encourage a new practise of honest and thought-provoking journalism by engaging with subject matters you’re passionate about and steer clear of gossip. Surely if enough people say enough-is-enough, this will create a better world for everyone.
A question I have for Caroline’s professional team is – Who was looking after her? – her PR team, her talent representatives, Her financial and legal advisor? The answer is simple; none of them were. They all used her for whatever percentage of her income they bleed her for. You would hope that these people who work with her behind closed doors on a daily basis knew Caroline. And my fear is that they did. And yet. They didn’t do anything to truly help her or look out for her mental health and wellbeing.
The culture of Caroline’s team was – If you’re not being talked about, then you may be forgotten – this I believe played a significant part in Caroline’s death. They somehow managed to convince an intelligent and independent woman that being tabloid fodder was a necessary evil that came with success in the showbiz industry. But looking back over the career of other successful television presenters this is clearly not the case. There are many examples of successful presenters who manage to go unnoticed when the cameras stop rolling. Why didn’t you adopt these tactics for Caroline’s career instead of the defamatory practises you used?
I fully appreciate that many of you are reading this and sceptical of the part I played in her mental health and wellbeing. And you’d be right to be pointing the finger at me too. I played a role in her demise. I won’t go in to detail about our relationship. I make no secret that we didn’t always see eye-to-eye. But I tried my best at the time. But I should have seen the signs quicker. I should have been stronger those times I felt like I was being pushed away. Yes, regrettably there were times I wanted her to feel the pain I felt. But I never wanted this. I never intended for her to be so low that she took her own life. Nothing you can say or write will make me feel worse than I already do.I shouldn’t have contributed to her anguish which I know I did during and after our relationship. For that I will be eternaly sorry.
I will say this about our relationship. There were several occasions I was lucky enough to break down her robust barriers and get to know the real Caroline. I can honestly say with my hand on my heart; and she was a wonderful individual who was filled with compassion, love, and laughter. Sadly, she was also filled with so much hurt and pain. She carried many emotional scars from her past. That’s the Caroline I loved. Deep down, she wasn’t the monster you all painted her for. She was a product of the articles and opinions of awful people online and the users in her life who made her anxious, scared, closed and fearful of losing it all. In the end, it cost her life.
For my part Caroline, I am sorry.
Christine, I know I cannot say anything to bring back your daughter. You probably hate me. I don’t blame you. But I hope you and your family believe I am genuinely sorry for ever trying to tarnish your daughter’s name and for any pain, I may have caused her and yourselves. Like you, I am grieving her death. I will have to come to terms with my regrets and my part to play in her depression in time.
Why do you think Caroline believed the only way out of this was suicide? Because she thought everyone hated her. She felt alone. She had no real help from anyone close to her.
Who is to blame for Caroline’s Death?
All of us.
How do we stop this from happening again?
We change how we process the information we read in gossip tabloids or what we watch on trashy TV. With these small changes, we all implement as individuals will have a significant impact on peoples lives on the whole. I promise. Stop reading gossip columns, and they will stop writing them. Stop watching these trashy TV shows, and they will stop making them. It’s not like they have a positive impact on our lives anyway. They make us bitchy, judgemental, opinionated, and they make us act out of character.
How many more people have to pay the ultimate sacrifice for our entertainment?
Lastly, I want to appeal to anyone reading this who is feeling at their lowest. I know how you feel. You feel helpless, desperate, and you may even feel like the only way is to take your own life. But if you take away only this – suicide is not the only option. It might not feel like it now, but there is hope, and there is still a chance for you to turn it all around. We all deserve second chances. It may not feel like it, but there are people in your life who truly care for you, but I promise your death will impact their lives more than you know. There is immediate help in the Samaritan’s. Their number is 116 123. The NHS, due to underfunding and wasted budgets is sadly not fully equipped with the tools they need to fight an ever-growing mental health epidemic. However, a simple conversation with your Doctor or GP can initiate support that may be enough to start your path to happiness and recovery and steer you from darkness and depression. Things won’t change overnight. But every day it may get more manageable for you.
The main person who can help you is you. That might sound like an obvious statement, but when you truly understand this is the moment where you start to change things. It begins with waking up and being determined to make the day count. Start by making your bed, getting a shower, going for a walk, seeing how beautiful nature is and finding somethings to be grateful for in that day. If you do this continuously, then you will start on the path of recovery, and you’ll begin to see changes. When confronted with things that would have previously got you down, just breath, take a step back and try to understand why things get you down. When you start to identify what is making you low, you can begin to change it.
For those who know someone who may be going through a rough time in their lives, I call upon you to check upon them — not just asking if they’re okay. But going out of your way to make sure they are okay. Meet for coffee, talk about how they can get help. Provide them with guidance and support or provide them with the contact details of someone who may be able to help. Please hug your loved ones extra tight tonight.
My final hope is that we can use this terrible and tragic news to bring light to a subject that I know was close to Caroline’s heart. I call upon everyone reading this to donate anything you can large or small to the charity – Mermaids. Mermaids is a pioneer charity that provides help and support trans children throughout the UK. I appeal to every one of you, please donate as much as you can to the “Caroline Flack memorial fund – Mermaids UK” (link below). This money will go directly to help lost children hopefully find who they are and give them the help and support they need. Let’s show Caroline and her Family our support in such a sad time for them by helping others who may need it.
Please share this statement with as many people as possible so they can see the truth behind who is really to blame for Caroline’s death. If I could please ask everyone donate to this incredible cause even if its just a couple of quid. Thank you.
I think Caroline Flack should be remembered as a wonderful sister, daughter, and auntie, and as a great a friend who was always up for a laugh and loved to sing along to hits from musicals. She loved her family and tried everything to make them proud of her. We should also remember Caroline as a unique individual who dominated her field and refined her craft as a brilliant tv presenter. Too, as the beautiful, bright and confident lady who bought so many of us happiness and filled our tv screens with that infectious smile and contagious laugh.
I hope her legacy can live on as the person who’s tragic death made us stop and realise that our humanity and compassion is worth more than cheap gossip columns and trashy TV, and for her to be remembered for the passionate and amazing person that deep down, she was.
Rest in peace Carrie x